Muscle strain occurs due to over-stretching of muscles beyond their normal capabilities. The muscle fiber pulls or tears apart from tendons and ligaments. Though these painful injuries are quite common among athletes and sport persons, but poor physical condition is also a leading cause of muscle strain.
If you are relatively out of shape and thinking of getting into shape, or you need to do intense physical activity, you have to strengthen your muscles slowly and gradually before starting an exercise regimen. Since muscle strains are likely to occur in muscles that are weak and inflexible, there are a few simple ways to strengthen them and prevent this painful injury.
Steps for Preventing Muscle Strain
Warming up your body before you start any strenuous physical activity reduces the risk of injury and prevents muscle pulls. This is because muscles become more extensible when the temperature of tissues is increased.
Warmer muscles are less susceptible to strain. Warming up prepares your mind and body for tough physical activity by increasing your range of motion. To warm up your body, performing light aerobic exercise or brisk walk for 5-10 minutes is appropriate.
Practice stretching exercise to increase your energy level before any tough physical activity. Stretching helps to reduce the tension in your muscles and also increases the range of motion, thus minimizing the risk of muscle strain and injuries. Five to ten minutes of stretching is recommended by most fitness experts.
Tight muscles often lead to muscle strain and injury. Stretching helps to maintain muscle strength and flexibility of the muscles, promotes better circulation and prevents muscle pull and injury. The areas like lower back, groin and hamstring are more vulnerable to injury and muscle pull. Consider stretching each muscle group for at least 15 seconds by holding the stretch for a few seconds and breathing deeply. Stretching should last for 15 to 20 minutes. Your muscles will become relaxed and flexible after stretching. Move slowly and steadily and avoid bounce or jerks.
Weaker muscles are more vulnerable to pulls and injuries. Whichever sport you may play, you need to make your whole body strong by adopting consistent strength training. This will make your body strong and resistant to injury and strain. Your routine strength training will increase your muscle strength and stamina within few weeks. Strength training should not be monotonous. You can include variety of exercise to avoid boredom.
For preventing muscle strain, it is necessary to maintain an overall physical fitness. Constantly increase your strength by remaining consistent with your work out regimen.
It is risky to perform strenuous physical activity when you are too tired. Muscle soreness is likely to develop. Overexertion and fatigue can lead to muscle strain easily.
Exerting particular muscle groups constantly when you are tired can also lead to muscle strain and injury. So do not over-exert. Make sure to take ample rest in-between.
Avoid Muscular Imbalance
Muscular imbalance can occur when there is an imbalance between opposing muscle groups like hamstrings and quadriceps. It means that the opposing muscle groups are developed unequally. One set of muscle becomes stronger and the other set remain weak. It is necessary to train all your muscle equally. Use same amount of weight and also repeat the exercise same number of times for each muscle group.
If you have experienced muscle strain, chances of re-injury becomes much higher. So be careful. Take precautions to protect the area. To support the injured area, use ace bandage or tape before indulging in any strenuous physical activity.